Genres: Friends to Lovers, Romantic Comedy
Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
I can say with absolute confidence that this book, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is by far, my favorite rom-com of 2018.
If any movie executives wanted a guaranteed rom-com hit, they should adapt this book into a movie.
I can’t wait until 9/4 so you guys can fall in love with Hazel and Josh. ❤️
I read it back in early July and loved it so much, I couldn’t find sufficient adjectives to describe how or why.
so, I re-read again last week and I’m still at a loss.
I’ll start with Hazel.
She ’s beyond adorable.
She’s the right mix of quirky, flirty, clever and witty and has no filter or boundaries which I LOVE!!
She’s a hot mess but in a beautiful sunshiny way.
The blurb describes her perfectly- “Most men can’t handle Hazel. With the energy of a toddler and the mouth of a sailor, they’re often too timid to recognize her heart of gold.”
She’s a third-grade teacher that seems to bring happiness, smiles, and laughter wherever she goes.
I would give anything for her to be real and to be my best friend.
She knows she a lot to take for some people and understands why she may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but also possesses the confidence and optimism not to change or to settle for anyone who cannot handle her “Hazelness”.
One of my favorite lines of hers is when she was explaining her past dating disasters to Josh – “Being myself is enough. I’m enough.”
That brings me to Josh.
His last Korean last name is “Im” which I can only imagine was an editor’s apostrophe autocorrect nightmare. Lol
Josh Josh Josh
He has made his way into the top of my book boyfriends list.
His calm voice and mellow demeanor seem to be at the opposite end of the compatible spectrum from Hazel, but his dry sense of humor, kindness and tender appreciation of Hazel’s uniqueness makes him perfect for her (and me). 😉
They first met in college and as Hazel says, she proved to him her, “undateability”.
Fast forward 7 years and they come face to face at Hazel’s best friend’s barbecue who also happens to be Josh’s younger sister, Emily.
Josh is in a long-term, but also long-distance relationship at this time and is still a little apprehensive about Hazel’s declaration of their best friendship given their shared horrible college incidents.
Hazel easily manages to skip, sing, dance and putt-putt her way into Josh’s structured and boring life.
When her apartment is flooded and becomes unlivable, chaotic Hazel and her odd collection of animals end up in Josh’s place until repairs can be made.
Josh is supposed to be out of town with his girlfriend so he reluctantly agrees.
They figure out they are unexpectedly comfortable around each other and come to the conclusion that even though they are not compatible as a couple, they are fond enough and trust the other to set them up with friends for double blind dates.
Neither wants to ruin their comfortable friendship with possible unrequited feelings so the slow-burn commences.
This is where I’m going to stop before I spoil the story.
You need to enjoy the humor and adventures that unfold from here.
I’m telling you, both times I read it, I could not put it down.
I love Josh and Hazel along with the secondary characters so much, it made me sad both times for their story to end.
Even though this is a romance, I also loved learning some Korean traditions and their strong family bond.
I highlighted over a dozen of my favorite quotes, but I realized that some were either spoilers or wouldn’t be as funny if you weren’t immersed in the story so I’ll post just one that sums up why I love them both:
“I have chaos around me, but it’s like he doesn’t even care. He doesn’t need me to change or pretend to be someone else. He’s my person. He’s my best friend.”
“You’re second only to a unicorn as far as best friends go, Josh Im.”
* Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates and brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, the New York Times, USA TODAY, and #1 international bestselling authors of the Beautiful and Wild Seasons series, Dating You / Hating You, Roomies, Sublime, The House, and Autoboyography.